Monday, 9 April 2012

A Spot Of Bother, Mark Haddon

Publishers: Vintage

Pages: 503

Main Characters:

George, Jean, Katie, Jamie

A Spot of Bother is the second novel from author Mark Haddon. Most of you will know of Haddon’s other novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which has been widely acclaimed and even placed as a top fifty book to read before you die! A Spot of Bother follows the life of George Hall, a recent retiree and hypochondriac! Obsessed with the belief that a skin lesion on his side is cancerous, even though his doctor has diagnosed it as eczema, George decides to take the matter into his own hands. After nearly killing himself by trying to cut off the lesion with a pair of scissors, George thinks his life couldn’t get much worse. How wrong he is. George soon finds out that his wife Jean has been having an affair with his neighbour and his daughter Katie is marrying a man who George and the rest of the family don’t approve of. The novel is about how George copes with these massive changes in his life after living the same routine every day until his retirement.

This was a good novel and a nice easy read. It did have a very humorous side to it as the main character George is the typical stubborn old man type of character. But there was also a very sad side to this book, as we see George’s life fall apart as all of these events happen and he has no control over them. I thought this book was not unlike How to Be Good by Nick Hornby. This is because it is set around the same sort of plot. Wife has an affair, husband has a mental breakdown and it is quite funny but at the same time quite sad.  Because of this similarity I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed Haddon’s The Curious Incident. It made me feel this book was a lot less unique because the plot was so similar to How to be Good. But to be fair, The Curious Incident is an absolutely brilliant book and I have not yet read anything like it, so it might be a little unfair to compare A Spot of Bother to it.

Like I said above, this was a good book and made for some nice easy reading but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as The Curious Incident. I would suggest it to anyone who is a fan of Nick Hornby, because as I’ve said the style of this book is very similar to that of Hornby’s. I am looking forward to seeing what Haddon’s next novel will be as A Spot of Bother and The Curious Incident are so very different. It will be interesting to see where Haddon will go next!

For author’s official website click here

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